Any successful organization relies on effective communication to function. Ideas are exchanged, decisions are made, and relationships are constructed on its foundation.
There are two main types of corporate communication: internal and external. Each of these has different goals, target audiences, and communication strategies.
In this article, we’ll examine the key distinctions between the two, their importance in the workplace, and how they contribute to organizational performance.
Internal Business Communication: Building the Foundation
As the name suggests, internal business communication is the exchange of information, ideas, and messages within the organization. For example, interactions between employees, teams, and departments are all internal communications. These are central to the daily functioning of the company.
The primary purpose of internal communication is to enhance collaboration and share knowledge. Internal communication is vital for aligning all employees with the company’s mission and values. This results in smooth internal processes and operations.
As you’d expect, the audience for internal communication is employees at all levels – from executives to frontline staff. The focus is on fostering understanding and cohesion among team members.
There are several methods to communicate internally. Meetings, emails, and intranet systems are common, but plenty of organizations also have their own social platforms. These tools are used to keep employees informed, engaged, and motivated.
Internal communication often includes updates on company news, progress on various projects, goals, policy changes, employee recognition, and such. The aim is to ensure everyone is always well-informed and aligned with the organization’s objectives.
External Business Communication: Bridging the Gap
On the flip side, external business communication is directed outward, involving interactions between the organization and entities outside its immediate structure.
This type of communication is necessary for a company’s reputation, growth, and success.
External communication conveys the company’s value proposition and builds relationships with external parties such as customers, suppliers, investors, and regulatory bodies. External communication is also necessary to enhance the organization’s market reputation.
The primary audience for external communication varies by industry, but most often, the same parties with which the organization is trying to build a relationship. Since the aim is to grow and improve, the company would be trying to attract customers, secure investments, etc.
This kind of communication can be carried out over various channels. Social media, PR, annual reports, and advertising are the more common options. They are used to convey the organization’s brand identity and messages to the external world.
The Synergy of Internal & External Communication
While internal and external business communication serves distinct purposes, they are interconnected and complementary. Effective internal communication lays the groundwork for successful external communication.
Employees who are knowledgeable, driven, and committed to the firm’s ideals act as brand ambassadors and help the company gain favor with the public.
On the other hand, external communication initiatives like marketing and public relations influence how the public views the organization. The importance of internal communication is emphasized by the fact that positive external views can raise employee morale and draw top talent.